This has been a challenging week for Acadiana and all of South Louisiana. The forecasts show we're not quite out of the woods just yet as a tropical system is churning around in the Gulf and will be slinging more rain our way today.

Eventually, the floodwaters will subside and we will begin the cleanup process. Flooding unfortunately brings mold and mildew. Mold and mildew will begin to develop in as soon as 24 hours of a flood-damaged home. It's a serious and dangerous situation, and you might not know how to properly get rid of it. Here are the guidelines from FEMA to help.

How to Identify Mold

You have to know what to look for to know if you have a problem, right? The graphic below functions like a mold "Choose Your Own Adventure" chart. Do you see anything or smell anything that could be mold?

FEMA.gov

Solutions to Mold Problems

OK, so now you've come to the conclusion that yes, you do have a mold issue. Does this mean you have to start ripping down walls and throwing all of your furniture away? Hopefully not, depending on how bad of a mold problem you're dealing with. The information below outlines exactly how to safely get started.

FEMA.gov
FEMA.gov

Mold Cleaning and Disinfecting

Not only is mold dangerous, but the process of cleaning and disinfecting can also be just as dangerous. Make sure you take the following precautions when dealing with, cleaning, and disinfecting your mold situation.

FEMA.gov
FEMA.gov

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

As important as it is to know how to identify mold and to know how to safely clean and remove it, it's equally as important to know if you've been exposed to mold. Symptoms such as headaches, bloody nose, rashes, and mood changes can be indications of mold exposure.

FEMA.gov

 

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

Bleach kills mold, as well as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, Borax, and more. There are also some natural mold killers like tea tree oil as well as numerous mold killing products available. You can find more, and read the proper way to use all of the products to kill mold at moldpedia.com. Below are some important tips from FEMA when it comes to using chemicals to kill mold -

 

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce poisonous gas.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.

 

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes